Thomas Macky to Catherine CochraneAuckland
December 17, 1850
My dearest Kitty
The mission ship John Wesley sails on Monday the 14th for London. She takes with her the Reverend W Laurie, superintendent of the Wesleyan mission here, and several of the missionaries, and as it is a very good opportunity to write I cannot let it escape without writing you.
The barque Camilla, from London arrived here on Tuesday but not a single letter for me. I cannot say one word against anyone for I have been very neglectful of writing myself which I charge to the account of this confounded California, and which makes a large debit to my account with it.
I wrote to you shortly after my return from it and explained all about my going there, and also that I would be home by way of it about July next. Now I am afraid I will not be able to accomplish that, as since then, accounts from California have not been favourable-- and I do not know whether we will ship anything there this season or not. Captain Dacre wishes me to stop here and to give me an interest in the shipments. If we do ship anything, it greatly depends upon advices from our friends there.
The losses in connection with it have been so great that everyone is afraid to have anything to do with it. However, I will know for certain whether I go or not about the middle of January. If I do not go I will send you £80 or £100 at that time. I would have sent from San Francisco but everything turning out so different from what was expected left me without any funds and I was induced to venture my own little funds in it and lost nearly all one year's earnings.
However, thanks be to God, I am very well and do not care anything about it. I have still sufficient to live in comfort and with the blessing of God I hope we will be happy. James and Captain Dacre are very kind and I am not afraid but I will do better by-and-by. We do about the best business in the place and not trifling either. If I do not go I will write you full instructions about the passage and everything when I remit, which will be with you as soon as if I were to go myself.
I trust my father and mother, John, Rebecca and all will come along with you. I now write to them all particulars-- and if they do not come I must say they will be acting very foolishly-- this is really a most delightful country and the season of the year is now the finest, the weather beautiful and the sky without a cloud. We were all out the other day at the paddock, hay-making. We have 88 acres in hay and a very heavy crop; we have a great fun. There is a hill right behind which often reminds me of the hill behind Carnshanagh only it is much more beautiful. It is naturally terraced up to the top. All the mountains here are the same, answering to the description given of the hills of India in Bonner and McSheyney's Travels. We have a beautiful view from the hill-- Auckland is situated on a peninsula and from the top of these hills you can see the ocean on both sides of New Zealand, and beautifully intersected with islands.
I am going out to spend my Christmas at the Tamaki with Aunt and stop for a few days-- I anticipate a pleasant time. I have seen very little of the country yet but hope to take an excursion into the interior shortly, and get a sight of some of the real beauty of nature. My dear Kitty, if you were out here, and some of them, I would never care about going to Ireland again-- nor I am sure will you when here a short time.
James and the family are all well. The boys are a terribly noisy lot, no keeping them quiet. Lizzy is growing into a fine girl; she is very musical, she can now play any piece of music at sight, and sings very nicely indeed.
This is acknowledged as a very musical place and many very good performers. We have a Sacred Harmonic Society here on a very grand scale. I am one of the members, there are about 50 attend. We have fine instrumental, as well as vocal, performances. One of the members, a German lady, would I think, equal Jenny Lind. She has the richest voice I've heard-- we are going to build a large music hall.
I am anxiously looking for a letter from home. I trust by the next vessel I may have a great many and especially a long, kind one from you. God grant this may find you in the enjoyment of good health and happiness, believe me, dear Kitty, I never forget you in prayer that God may bless and keep you from all ill.
I had one letter from Jno Cochrane but none since. Our church is now supplied by ministers from the Wesleyan chapel. It's generally the Reverend W Millard that preaches. He is a very good preacher. We are getting on very quietly now.
We have a fine Sunday school. Many, many a time, I wish John was here now. We have a very fine church and a handsome manse, also we get a very interesting congregation. if it be the will of God I trust that he will yet fill it. I will write again in a month and if I do not go to California I will remit to you and will arrange that you will have no trouble whatever-- but I trust you will not have to come alone. James will write to...
(NOTE: Apparently a manuscript copy.)